Devotion for Saturday, April 3
Saturday’s Old Testament reading (Deuteronomy 22-23) reminds me that our God is concerned about the little things in life. There are some very important issues that God's Old Testament civil or governmental laws covered like laws to protect marriage. But God also had laws about some very little things in life. This isn't part of the Old Testament that I would read to my kids, but if I had, my kids would have started to snicker reading Deuteronomy 23:12-14 at the kitchen table.
Our New Testament reading (Acts 8:26-40) also reminds me that God is concerned about the “little things” like each one of us. He directs a missionary to leave a promising mission field to serve one person from Ethiopia. When you read of his baptism, celebrate that in your baptism, the Savior shows his loving concern for “little things” like you and me.
Today’s reading led me to check on the news from Ethiopia. One of our families here at St. Paul’s has relatives living in the Tigray region. This part of Ethiopia is predominately Christian and is embroiled in a civil war. Sadly, news of another massacre in that area broke yesterday. Would you join with me in prayer?
Lord Jesus, we place into your care our fellow Christians living in Tigray and in other parts of the world where war is raging. We ask that you would spare their lives and bring peace. Comfort those whose families are in danger that your love and care includes the very hairs of our head (Luke 12:6-7). We place all whom we love into your powerful hands. Amen.
Devotion for Easter Sunday, April 4
Our Old Testament reading for Sunday (Deuteronomy 24-25) is referenced in the New Testament a number of times. This is one of those subtle ways the Holy Spirit reminds me that the book that we are reading was recognized as God’s inspired word by the Jews of the first century—and most importantly by the One who died and rose again.
Marriage – Jesus knew Deuteronomy 24:1-4. God gave this law, not because he wanted divorce, but to regulate it because God knew people’s hearts were hard and would rebel against God’s life-long design for marriage. Read Jesus' explanation in Matthew 19:1-12.
Poor – I am not aware of a specific reference to these passages about caring for the poor, but Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you" (Matthew 26:11) What a great reminder to be generous as we celebrate our Savior’s dying love for us.
40 Lashes– Paul mentions that “five times I received… 40 lashes minus one.” (2 Corinthians 11:24).
Don't muzzle an ox - Check out the New Testament application (click here).
Levirate Law (Deuteronomy 25:5-10 – “Levir” is the Latin word for “husband’s brother.” The Sadducees challenged Jesus about this law in Matthew 22:23-33 during the Holy Week confrontations in the temple.
Was anyone’s heart as hard as Saul (who would become the Apostle Paul)? Yet the Spirit worked the miracle of faith in him and changed his hard heart in Acts 9:1-35. If you believe that Jesus rode into Jerusalem to die on Palm Sunday and walked out of the tomb one week later, it is because the Spirit worked that same miracle in you. He can work that miracle in those you are inviting to join Easter worship too.
Share the links below with family and friends. May the Holy Spirit work the miracle of faith in the hearts of many more.
Easter Service Times
- Traditional services in the sanctuary: Sat @ 5 pm, Sun @ 6:30 am, 7:45 am, 9:15 am; 10:45 am
- The Bridge service in the Trinity Gym Sun @ 9:00 am and 10:30 am
Holy Week Links
- "Just as He Said" Easter Song by our Joyful Noise Youth Choir
- Easter Service from the sanctuary - livestreamed Easter morning at 9:15 (click here)
- Easter Service from the Bridge - livestreamed Easter morning at 10:30 am (click here)